Closing of the Valu-Mart Grocery Store in Shawville - The President's Choice

MONTREAL, May 27, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The workers Valu-Mart Shawville lament the closure of the only grocery store in town of which they have learned through the media. The closure comes after a refusal (by 95%) of the employer's final offer. Offer that was qualified as insulting by David Bergeron-Cyr, vice president of the CSN's Fédération du commerce (FC-CSN).

"We're talking about an employer who asks its employees, for the third consecutive time, to tighten their belts under the pretext that the store would not be profitable, says the union leader. All of this after announcing record sales of about $ 100,000 a week last November ! The closure of this store is nothing but the president's choice ! " he denounces.

The employer's offer included an agreement for a period of seven years with less than 1% annual increase, while the index of consumer prices is close to 3%. In addition, employees who are not on the salary scale did not receive a pay increase once again, as  it has been the case in the last fifteen years. The only positive aspect was the commitment made to invest $ 500 000 in 2011 to renovate the store.

"The problem with this promise is that it has already been made at the last negotiation that ended the same way, following a lockout and a threat of closure," said Karen Cartman, President the union.

The employees of Shawville's Valu-Mart have suffered declines in their working conditions over the last three negotiations. Besides seeing fewer sick days and floating holidays, the number of full-time positions also decreased.

"And to add insult to injury, they ask that those hired after the agreement has been signed get inferior working conditions," said Michel Quijada, president of the Conseil central des syndicats nationaux de l'Outaouais (CSN). This is apparent to an orphan clause and it is illegal in Quebec ! "

The employee's of this Loblaw owned store have not exhausted their appeals. After rejecting the offer from their employer last Friday, they called in for conciliation with the Ministry of Labour.

Citizens are invited to join the Valu-Mart's workers in challenging Loblaw's decision to close the only grocery store in the city on Wednesday June 1st from 12 am to 13 pm. A BBQ will be held in the parking lot of the Lion's Hall at 215 Lang Street in Shawville.

The event will be preceded by a press conference at 11:30 AM during which the union will explain further its position and intentions. In the meantime, the union members will refrain from making any comments.

SOURCE CSN

For further information:

Félix Cauchy-Charest, Communications advisor for the CSN
Phone: 514 212-7383
Email: felix.cauchy-charest@csn.qc.ca


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